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UMD Smith School to offer free business education program

UMD Smith School to offer free business education program

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To help Marylanders get back into the workforce and prepare for the new economic and business environment, The University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business has developed an online business program — free to all residents of the state of Maryland.

“Maryland Business: Rebooted” starts July 13 and is designed especially for individuals who have been managing or working in small and medium-sized companies.

University faculty experts will lead a series of webinars that cover entrepreneurial and business leadership skills in terms of teamwork, developing a company strategy, financial decision making, mitigating financial and cybersecurity risks, making decisions based on data, improving a website and marketing businesses on social media.

The program is the brainchild of Michel Wedel, distinguished university professor; Judy Frels, vlinical professor and program director of the MicroMasters program, and Christine Thompson , executive director of executive education, who have worked tirelessly to design the program, recruit faculty, and seek support from the broader community.

Each of the following modules will consist of three one-hour webinars:

  • Strategy for Businesses of all sizes: Webinars: “Strategy Health Check,” “Rethinking your Strategy” and “Future Robust Planning” (presented by Oliver Schlake, July 13-Sept. 7)
  • Financial Accounting: Key Metrics for Performance Management: Webinars: “The Nature of Accounting and its Relevance for Business,” “Income and Cash Flow Statements” and “Managerial Accounting” (presented by Eugene Cantor, Aug. 10-Oct. 12)
  • Digital Marketing: Targeting the Right Customers, through Social Media and Search: Webinars: “Creating your company’s website for the best customer experience,” “B2B Websites” and “Social Media” (hosted by Mary Harms, Sept. 22-Nov. 30)

The topics in the three modules also are sequenced with free MicroMasters courses that Maryland Smith already offers on the edX platform. This provides for participants to choose to engage only in the webinars or in both the webinars and corresponding MicroMasters courses.

The sessions will further accommodate and promote participant interaction — to share experiences and exchange ideas. And, Maryland Smith will partner with the Maryland Small Business Development Center to provide business coaching to participating small business owners.

While the MicroMasters courses are delivered via the edX platform, all webinars will be delivered via Zoom. All webinars and approximately 85% of the content of each MicroMasters course is available at no charge to the participants.

As part of the Maryland Business: Rebooted series, Maryland Smith will host an online panel discussion with Black entrepreneurs who will shed light on unique challenges facing their companies and share experiences of successes and failures in meeting those challenges. This webinar takes place July 31 from 3 to 4 p.m. and is free with advance registration.

Victor Mullins, associate dean of undergraduate programs, and diversity officer for Maryland Smith, lead the discussion with Monique Rose Simms, co-owner and managing partner of Milk & Honey; Kibwe Hughes, founder and managing partner of Relentless Management Group; and Ashton Clark and Ryan Clark, founders of TicketFalcon.

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